Are Dogs Allowed in Costco? (Updated 2022)

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Costco members enjoy all sorts of benefits. From deals on household items to the infamous $1.50 hot dog, Costco seems to have it all. But is Costco dog-friendly?

As of 2022, Costco stores are not pet-friendly. Dogs are not allowed in Costco, nor are other pets. The exception to this rule is for service animals. If you have a service dog, you may bring them into the store to assist you while you shop.

Why aren’t dogs allowed in Costco?

If you were looking forward to bringing your pup to your local Costco, you’re probably wondering why they prohibit pets. Thankfully, there’s a pretty good reason.

Costco’s pet ban is to prevent food contamination. Dogs have dirt, drool, and all kinds of germs that you probably don’t want to touch the food you eat.

This ban actually comes from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates whether pets are allowed into stores that serve food. By FDA regulation, any establishment that prepares are serves food is not allowed to permit pets on the premises. This means that any grocery chain or restaurant should not allow pets inside, unless they are service animals. Therefore, a store like Costco is a hard no-go when shopping along your pooch.

If you’re planning to go to Costco soon, make sure to leave Fido at home. And under no circumstance should you leave your dog in a hot or unoccupied car.

Are service dogs allowed in Costco?

Costco makes an exception for all service animals, as per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you have a service animal, they are allowed in the store to assist you while you shop.

Due to health regulations, your animal may not ride in the cart or “otherwise come into direct contact with the shopping carts.”

There is a chance that Costco employees may stop you and ask about your service animal. Employees are allowed to ask two things: 1) Is your dog a service animal? 2) What tasks does your dog perform as related to your disability? Employees can not ask you to provide documentation, ask your dog to perform any tasks, or question you further about your disability—these constitute ADA violations.

What qualifies as a service animal?

Confused on whether your dog counts? The ADA defines a service dog as “a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.” If this applies to your pup, you’re more than allowed to bring them into Costco with you. Your service animal does not have to wear a vest, ID, or any other identifying information. Your dog does not have to be registered to qualify as a service animal.

Therapy and emotional support dogs do not count as service animals.

If your pet is not a service animal, please do not try to bend the rules. Many people rely on service animals to go about their daily lives. To pass off a pet as a service animal creates distrust towards the those who need them and makes the lives of disabled people harder.

So where should I take my dog?

If you’re bummed about Costco’s pet ban and want to find a pet-friendly place to take your pooch, then DogFriendly can help. You might search our list of dog-friendly restaurants where you and your pet can enjoy some fine dining outdoors, or search our list of other dog-friendly stores. And if that doesn’t cut it, you can search through our thousands of other listings, from dog parks, to campgrounds, to beaches, to just about anywhere you can think of—we’ve got you covered.

Tyler Kupcho
Author: Tyler Kupcho

Animal lover, proud husky parent. Writing Intern at DogFriendly.com

Tyler Kupcho
Author: Tyler Kupcho

Animal lover, proud husky parent. Writing Intern at DogFriendly.com

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